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Where the River Meets the Sound


The river is a mirror three miles wide,

Where our white wake cuts out a crescent moon

That rides upon the gently rising tide.

We anchor and we fish, while some old tune

Of love gone wrong floats on the air.

Shrimp, pink as my own thumbs, as big around,

On weighted lines rigged with a double snare,

Sink in the summer waters of the sound.

Such sweetmeats, Father, set to lure

The slimy spot and croaker to our hands!

In brotherhood unspoken and obscure,

I hold the hissing lantern while your knife

Splits belly after belly in its turn

And wonder, what cold, ancient monstrous life

Would not be drawn to coiling round the stern?

We wash our hands and pack up for the night,

Slinging the guts in water warm as blood.

The engine turns, the beacon blinks its light

And I keep watch behind as if I could

Defend us from Leviathanís attack.

Sunk in the brine, the silver blades now beat

A brilliant phosphorous spoor out of the black,

A million worlds exploding at my feet,

Wild beauty in the violence that we share,

And then this darkness, darkness everywhere.


Suzanne Doyle



© 1992 Suzanne J. Doyle.  Used by permission.


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